New Moms: What Scares Them About Your Church Nursery?

What makes new moms the nervous about the church nursery.

New mamas are the epitome of the nervous parent.  Often the church nursery is the first place where they release their precious little one to someone else.  They are torn between desperately wanting to go be a grown up and guilt of being away from their little one.  By recognizing their apprehension, we have the opportunity in the church nursery to address the questions that are weighing on new mothers’ minds.

1.  Can I trust these workers?  Mamas probably won’t ask this out loud.  But they have heard enough horror stories, and dreamed up some of their own.  Make your security and background screening policies extremely clear and look for opportunities to share this with parents.  Put your friendliest, very best workers in the newborn nursery so that they can make a great first impression on Mom.

2.  What if my baby cries?  Moms worry about not being there if their little one is upset, but they also worry about their child being a burden by being upset.  On top of that, they worry how their baby will be handled when she cries.  Communicate ahead of time with parents about how you handle communicating with them when baby gets upset.  It might be helpful to ask for their preferences.

4.  Will my baby get the attention he/she needs?  Too many babies in a room will make a mama turn around and head the other way.  Work hard to keep your adult to baby ratios as low as possible.  Train volunteers to give immediate attention to the baby when he enters the room.

5.  Will my baby get germs?  Mamas live in fear of their baby getting sick.  It is so important that you have stringent cleaning routines and methods.  Make sure your baby room looks, smells, and is sanitized.

6.  Will my baby be safe?  Again, appearance speaks loudly to new parents.  First make sure that you have a reliable security system for checking children in and out.  Make sure that Mom knows that no one else can pick up her child.  Make sure equipment is up-to-date.  If anything looks old or unsafe, get rid of it immediately.  Invite a young mom to walk through and give you her impressions.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. You can leave your comments below. Feel free to add to this list or let us know your experience of bringing a new baby to the church nursery.


Comments

  1. mandy leigh says

    I’m now expecting #4 but I dont really think it’s just a new mom thing. It’s tough whether it’s your first or not. I always hated to leave mine especially when you go into a “baby” room and there are older kids in there too…even if they’re only 1 or 2 years old. They are sweet and dont realize their strength and can sometimes hurt a baby totally innocently. I think every nursery should have a room just for the under 1’s. :)

  2. Sandra says

    I absolutely agree with you! Once I had my daughter I did not attempt to go to church because I was already told of how my baby could go to the nursery and I said I would no want to do that but I felt pressured as if that was my only option. I feel children should be able to attend church along side their families. I also do agree though that once they are older it is good for them to have some time away from their parents. I just recently went back to church, a different one this time and I was terrified of leaving my daughter in Sunday school. She on the other was completely fine and excited to be going to school so she did make it a little easier on me. She’s three years old. What also made it much more comforting is KidCheck, which is internet based program to check-in your child securely as well as monitor them and be contacted directly if your child needs you. I’m hoping soon all preschools, churches and daycares acquire this program.

  3. Tammey says

    This article is a blessing. It is so very hard for new moms and moms who have been parenting for some time to entrust their blessings from God aka children to just anyone. The fact that it is a church nursery does not ease the anxiety. There are too many true horror stories in this world. Compassion is the key. Inviting the parents (don’t forget Dads!!!) to observe, tour, stop by, etc. helps tremendously. Thank you for understanding.

  4. says

    An understanding and compassionate heart for those moms that are more attachment parent oriented. I think it really set off a wrong foot with our own church nursery to be teased over my reluctance to part from my baby that I was going to follow them to college. They were unaware nor asked our preferences nor knew our history of waiting 3 years to be a parent.

  5. Sandra Cohen says

    We have a nursery at our church and as chair of PPRC , I hired my nephew and his fiance to attend the nursery for two services on Sunday
    morning. The one service is well attended but the second service has no
    children attending in nursery. We have several new babies and your article was really very interesting. This has been a big help.

  6. Lana says

    Excellent article. I am so much looking forward to hearing more feedback on this. We have many new mamas in church and I do not want them to feel at all uneasy about our church nursery.

  7. Diane says

    Why isn’t it possible for small babies to stay with mum? If room is made for buggies and prams everyone is often happier. Once they start being mobile they can go somewhere where they have space to move. I’ve breastfed my children in the middle of the service if that’s what they needed. OK if they’d fallen asleep on me I couldn’t stand up to sing the hymns, but I think God understood. What has happened to “suffer the little children”? Babies are a fact of life and a part of the community that a church should be!

    Sorry, I just feel it’s important we say mums are welcome with their babies and church is one place where no-one will be frowning on them if their child makes a sound. Most babies can be comforted at the back (by walking back and forth in a pram or being cuddled) if they cry or they can be nursed.

    Having been a mum (with postnatal depression) who felt sometimes people frowned on me having my children with me I think we need to have a ministry supporting and blessing motherhood and welcoming them. This is a key time when people often return to church because they are going through a great change and we run the risk of missing opportunities to bless people and welcome them into our midst if we are suggesting they leave their baby with a complete stranger in a church nursery.

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